From bingo-dabber to hockey sticks

June 2023

Angie Jason is an Anishinaabe artist from Sheshegwaning First Nation currently living in Thunder Bay and has been making art ever since she could hold a pencil. In fact, even before that.
“I remember a very early memory of using my mom’s bingo dabber to “paint” flowers on the bedroom wall,” Jason says with a grin. “I don’t think she was very impressed.”

Her early ‘bingo-dabber’ phase soon evolved into acrylic painting, then stained glass, digital artwork and murals, but she didn’t start painting regularly until 2015 when she was completing her Masters of Education in Thunder Bay. However, her artistic career really took off when she made the decision to quit her corporate job in May 2022 and pursue art full time.

“I was really struggling with my mental health at the time and my heart wasn’t in my work any more,” she says.

“So, a decision was made but this was also a month before I got married! I’m not sure there’s ever an ‘opportune time’ to quit a job with a steady pay cheque and benefits to pursue an art career, but there’s probably a better time than a month before a wedding! I’m nothing if not impulsive? Stubborn? Either way, it worked out. Chris and I are still married, and we aren’t homeless!”

After almost 9 months, Jason read a request for artwork on the Indigenous Tourism Ontario Facebook page in February. It was on behalf of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and she thought she would give it a try. Proposals were to be sent to Hockey Canada with a description of the proposed image along with sketches or mock-ups, samples of previous work, and a brief artist bio. She submitted her application on February 21, and was notified on March 2 that she had been one of the artists selected.

“I was visiting family on Manitoulin Island,” she says. “And had just finished a family dinner with my mom and sister’s family when I got the email. There was an audible “HOLY F&$#” with a couple more expletives!”

Jason was one of four Indigenous women from Ontario chosen to design the Player of the Game sticks, that were to be handed out at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Brampton. She had a phone call with the organization on March 10 to confirm the details and requirements of the project.

“My understanding was the artists would be sending digital designs of our work which would then be professionally applied on a vinyl wrap or similar material for the sticks. I was very much mistaken! They wanted 25 HAND-PAINTED hockey sticks! I received the sticks on March 9, and they wanted them to be in the mail on their way to Brampton on March 27. I had less than 3 weeks to paint 25 hockey sticks. It didn’t help that I was sick for one of those weeks. In hindsight I really should have chosen a simpler design!”

While being chosen for such a project was both a triumph and validation of her talent, Jason admits that the struggle with mental health issues continued to plague her. Her employers were always encouraging but she couldn’t get it out of her head that she was terrible, incompetent and a failure. Taking one’s art full-time is a daunting prospect and is not for the faint of heart.

“Making the decision to quit and do art full time was not a spur-of-the-moment decision,” she says. “And it is not something that everyone can do. It takes a lot of courage as well as a strong support system. I have a very supportive husband who could shoulder some of the bills while I got my feet under me, and I have connections with a local art base: The Creative Company in Thunder Bay. Working with the company allows me to have access to studio space while they take on some of the business hassle, like keeping prints in stock, storing prints, and online sales. This allows me to focus my time on creating. I think I’ve created more work in this past year than the past 5 years.”

Clearly, this artist’s gamble is paying off, with several new projects already lined up with organizations like the Toronto Zoo and Wake the Giant.

“I’m also submitting some stained-glass work to the Salt Springs National Art Prize, organizing classes that I’ll be teaching throughout the summer and helping coordinate a weekly outdoor art/craft market on the patio of the Windy Shores Café. I’ve also got a number of commissions to catch up on, so I’m pretty much in the studio every day.”

From a bingo-dabber wall to winning hand-painted hockey sticks, Angie Jason is creating masterpieces wherever she goes. Her work can be found on The Creative Company’s website ( as well as her social medias. Facebook – Starbeam Woman Art and Instagram - @starbeamwomanart.

Heather L. Dickson is a photoshop guru, zoologist and author of 6 novels.

Visit her website at

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.